Mar 20 2020

Start of season gathering for Glen Finglas volunteers and staff

Gwen Raes, Estate Ranger, and Hamish Thomson, Estate Manager, set up a wonderful day to kickstart the new visitor and event season for existing and new volunteers at Glen Finglas, our largest Woodland Trust estate in the UK.


Volunteer roles there now include Woodland Engagement volunteers, who man the Gateway Centre, ecological monitoring volunteers,  adopt a path volunteers and a Woodland Working Group.


Some of the Glen Finglas volunteers carry out several of these roles, and many of them gathered together on Monday for a great day!


Here are a few images from the indoor session in the morning:



We heard from Alison Stewart, one of the two new Volunteer Panel Representatives for Scotland, then an update on volunteering news from me.  Finally Gwen shared news from the site, ranging from Camping byelaws to upcoming events, such as the popular black grouse safari.


After a delicious lunch, prepared by Hamish’s wife, we headed out for a guided walk around Little Druim Wood, led by Hamish.  The objective was to give the Woodland Engagement volunteers some more insight into what we are aiming to achieve at Glen Finglas in terms of woodland management, so that they can share this with visitors to the Gateway visitor centre.  We saw the PAWS (planted on ancient woodland) restoration area, for example, where we have been enabling natural regeneration via deer control.  We could see across the glen, the beautiful purple colour of winter, leafless birch, showing us just how much natural regeneration there has been.  We also saw an area of open field, which is lightly grazed by livestock on our farm.  Unimproved and boggy grassland, the field is incredibly valuable for biodiversity,  with a wide range of native bog and wetland herbaceous plants found there.



At the Gateway visitor centre.  You can spot Alison Stewart, one of your new National Volunteering Panel reps, on the left of the photo.

Hamish explaining the biodiversity value of the Glen Finglas boggy areas, places full of dragonflies, damselflies and rare plants.

The grazed field with important unimproved grassland habitat.


The event was the last that we will have for a while – we have sadly had to cancel all events for the time being because of this pesky virus.  I’m so glad we managed to fit this one in!


Matilda Scharsach

Scotland Volunteering Development Officer

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